I recently listened to Aretha Franklin’s captivating album, “Young, Gifted and Black” while paying tribute to the “Queen of Soul” and her global influence. She paints a beautiful picture of what it means to be black in America.
Yes, it’s often a difficult journey because we face trials and experience pain. However, African-Americans are substantial contributors, innovators and achievers.
This is the first Women’s History Month since the death of Aretha Louise Franklin in her Detroit, Michigan, home Aug. 16, 2018. She died from pancreatic cancer. Born in 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee, she would have turned 77 on March 25.
Her talent knew no limits. She was a pianist, songwriter and singer. Aretha also was an actress, civil rights activist and a loving mother and so much more.
- She sang at inaugural events for three U.S. presidents: In 1977, at Jimmy Carter’s inaugural gala, in 1993 and 1997 for Bill Clinton’s inaugural events, and in 2009, at Barack Obama’s inauguration. She also performed at the White House in 1994.
- Aretha was the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
- She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, awarded by former President George W. Bush.
Aretha’s life and legacy showed me how to fight proudly for what I believe in. This is the year I start creating my delicate, yet fierce marking for the world: I intend to honor my ancestors while creating my own identity, take calculated risks and raise my voice in favor of issues and causes I believe in, just like Aretha did. She was an iconic pioneer whose proud, powerful gospel and soul music influenced generations of performers and fans.In fact, her influence can’t be measured. There’s no doubt about it: She changed the world.
Why do I say all of this? Because I, too, am young, gifted and black.
- Aretha Franklin movie starring Jennifer Hudson will hit theaters in 2020
- Trailer For Aretha Franklin Documentary Will Give You The Chills [VIDEO]
- TIME Joins Aretha Franklin Concert Documentary Amazing Grace as Distribution Partner with NEON
- Historical Plaque Now Marks Aretha Franklin's Childhood Home In Memphis
- Aretha Franklin's Bio
Regina L. Burns contributed to this blog post.
(c) March 2019. Harvest Reapers Communications. All Rights Reserved.